Women growing older with grace and gusto



Just a few quick thoughts today.

I was chatting with a friend recently, both of us in our early sixties, and we agreed how much we both simply assume there will be loads of tomorrows to do what we want. And hopefully we will have those tomorrows. Barring illness or accident, lifespans are getting longer. We could both easily have another twenty years or more.

I think it’s really healthy to have lots of plans and ideas for the future. Unless… well you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? Unless we get trapped in a kind of ennui or alternatively daily busy-ness and keep putting off our tomorrows. Maybe like me you have a day job which takes up absurd amounts of time. Maybe you’re caring for dependents. Maybe dealing with your own illness or incapacity.

I have this tendency to think in terms of grand plans. Nothing’s worth doing unless I have absolutely weeks or months to give to it. The gorgeous home, the book. But I just this week realised (OK, I’m a slow learner!) that even if I only only have the odd ten minutes here and there it will help. This has only taken me ten minutes to write, it isn’t perfect and doesn’t have to be, because in a very small way it’s moving my writing further along.

What about you? What are you going to spend the odd ten minutes on this week?

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14 Responses to Mañana…

  1. Thanks for the reminder. It is difficult for me to daily take those 10 minutes however, I intellectually know this is a solution. There is power in gradualness as Sandra Felton, The Organizer Lady says!

  2. For some reason your post got me thinking, thanks Tess, about all those brief conversations we have on the city pavements in my neighborhood, like meeting a friend at a street corner while waiting for the traffic light, before we can cross, or conversing while emptying our mailboxes, or meeting a neighbor walking their dog. It’s great to have those interchanges, never more than 10 minutes for sure, but often certainly more meaningful than the weather. In any case it deepens life for me a lot.

    • This is a great extension of what I was talking about, thank you Sarah. For similar reasons I never take the auto-pay aisle at the supermarket, always the ones where someone is actually there to ring up my purchases. That small bit of human contact is important.

  3. I’m a big fan of the “small bites” approach to things. It keeps me from overthinking and getting side-tracked by planning and preparation.

    Ten minutes of yoga or meditation in the morning (preferably before my busy mind is completely awake) is doable. A longer daily practice gets me plotting and planning for just the right time/place/music/equipment/outfit/etc. My short sessions might grow into longer ones someday, but I think it’s best for me to just let that happen organically without trying too hard to make it so.

  4. Good topic!

    Since I have a chronic illness that causes profound fatigue to take into account as I plan, I tend to see my life in smaller chunks. Do this or that until I can’t and then get back to it after a rest, keeping my goal in mind. My grandmother called that “working from can to can’t” but she had more energy at my age than I do. A wise quilting friend once told me, having “a bit of a stitch” daily gets even the largest sewing project finished sooner or later. The same goes for any other endeavor, too.

    I’m sitting down to finish putting a quilt block together, then another, and another …!


  5. Dear Tess and All,
    What a lovely reminder. I’m one of those people who can put off alot of things for the planning and the idea I need big chunks of time to do them. I’ve learned over the past few years that I accomplish much more when I do little bits at a time. It’s who I am and I’m so glad to be finally self-accepting at 65! It took me a while of little bits of acceptance over many years, and here I am loving it, loving me! I’m taking advantage now of writing even little bits like this, to keep me moving. As a result I’m writing. So nice to hear from everyone! Thanks for keeping the forum going, Tess!

  6. My first cousin’s daughter’s only child, a daughter, died at the age of 20 after a long battle with bone cancer. It was very traumatic for the whole family and still looms large after almost 20 years later. Her son, the younger of her two children, married two years ago. He’s 43, she’s 40, and they desperately wanted a child together. She’s pregnant now with both his and her first child, who will be born next month. Everybody is over the moon. They already know the child is a girl, and you had better believe her grandma will be at the forefront of a pack of doting relatives primed to spoil her rotten. I live about 600 miles away at the other end of the state (Texas) and I’m retired, so I am spoiling this eagerly awaited grandchild with hand knitted baby things — dresses, bonnets, booties, and baby afghans, so when I’m not reading, I’m knitting both activities which I greatly enjoy doing. Then I have some fall and winter knitting for various folks in the queue, and after that, toddler dresses, bonnets, etc. Now, if I could just get that enthused about exercising . . .
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  7. Hi there, Tess,
    When I began reading this very helpful book recently, a flashback to Pilgrim’s Moon came to mind, regarding a post you wrote on the topic a few years ago. One important suggestion, and that the book begins with, actually, is DO NOT try to do a little at a time, take on the big job. Available at Amazon, this exceedingly helpful, 5-star teaching guide is titled:

    “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” by Marie Kondo

    What’s fun for me, is that the tidying up is here considered an art form!!

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